Chilean copper miners are contemplating production cuts as a result of measures imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

 

Some miners have already suffered from shutdowns caused by the virus. Antofagasta suspended activity at its $1.3bn Los Pelambres Expansion Project for 120 days because it would be impossible to operate normally in light of the extraordinary precautions undertaken to protect workers, the company said in an April 6 statement.

 

The firm has also temporarily suspended its contracts with most of the companies involved in the project, the statement added.

 

Davis Index approached Chilean company Codelco, the world’s top copper producer, about whether or not it would reduce production, but the company did not respond by publication time.

 

Chilean copper miners may lose $75mn per day if they reduce operations to combat spread of the virus, Cristian Pinto Gutiérrez, an academic at the Northern Catholic University in Antofagasta, Chile told Davis Index last month.

 

Chile has lowered its price guidance for copper by 45¢/lb to $2.40/lb due to COVID-19’s impact on the national copper industry. 

 

Copper prices reached $2.20/lb on April 6, rising by 0.7pc from April 3, according to data from Chilean Copper Commission.

 

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